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In some Anime, Women look nothing at all like men, yet are capable of nearly the same exact feats of physical strength:

enter image description here

Image from Dragon Ball Super

Is there a way to manipulate biology and evolution to make something like that possible?

I am not asking for a petite 16 year old that can suplex a cow. That’s obviously impossible. But could there exist someone with the body of a tomboy but the physical and mental strength of a medieval European soldier in real life?

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    $\begingroup$ The question is fine, but most of the backstory is distracting and unnecessary. It can be summarized as follows: "If something happened to all the men, how long would it take for women to evolve to become just as strong as men?" $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 18:52
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    $\begingroup$ The interesting question is can you have a tribe of Shauna Coxeys who pass on their monstrous strength to their daughters but not their sons. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that I think there may be some valid questions in here, but frankly, I'm not gonna read through all of that (why all the "buff anime babe" pictures in the middle?) just to try to answer a couple of questions for you. I'd advise reposting this but ditching most of your "theory" backstory and just concentrating on the specific questions you want to ask, and asking them as succinctly as possible. Also, I'd just point out that the difference in physical strength between typical athletic men and women is not actually as large or significant as you might think in most realistic contexts. $\endgroup$
    – Foogod
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, this is the 900 words question, right? Well, it's actually... 1571 words long, but that's not important. I'm reading it and check if we can improve it, but I have to ask beforehand : Why did you not try it in the sandbox, as suggested? If for instance something there put you off, can you explain it so we can improve it? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 23:41
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    $\begingroup$ I do not understand at all why anybody would believe that women do not have "the same neurological capacity for bloodshed and violence" as men. In the Second World War the Soviets deployed several all-female front line combat units, including the famous 588th Night Bomber Regiment, the "Night Witches", distinguished with the Order of the Red Banner and the Order of Suvorov; the Soviet Union is also famous for its female snipers, including Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Roza Shanina, Aliya Moldagulova and Natalya Kovshova (look them up). $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 12:33

3 Answers 3

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No Muscles. No Problem.

Do not worry. You can safely make your Medieval women strong as Medieval men. They will not become bulbous and veiny like Goku from Dragonball Z. Because Medieval men were not bulbous and veiny like Goku from Dragonball Z.

Details:

enter image description here

Medieval soldiers were not supermen. Most of them were farmers. Medieval farmers worked 8-12 hours a day and had great strength and endurance. But they did not look like muscle-bound super-studs.

Medieval farmers are extinct. The closest we can find today is people living in the developed world who do manual labour all day. The above men are described as Mali Tribesmen from Orissa, India. Take the above with a grain of salt, since people who do purely manual labour are rare these days. And "tribal tourism" is certainly a big moneymaker.

Also check out this guy who spent some time with the Hadza hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. Again I cannot promise you these people live this way on a daily basis. But Wikipedia at least suggests there are only about 1200 Hadza people. So perhaps they are the rare exception.

Also check out any tribal people from the Amazon. You cannot be sure how these people live when the camera is turned off. But if they live in deep jungle then you can tell they don't have cars or mechanized farming. So they do everything by hand.

Dressed differently, the Mali man on the left would be invisible walking down a busy city street in the West. Until you shake his hand and notice he is made of solid iron.

None of these people look like bulky superheroes. They do not have stupid well-defined muscles like Maki Oze from Fire Force:

enter image description here

A real-life Maki Oze could bench-press more than the average Medieval peasant. But only because she practices bench-pressing every day. The peasant could probably outlast Maki if they were lifting a smaller load. And Maki would certainly crumble if forced to push a plough for 12 hours straight.

For a modern example of what a woman looks like, when she trains every part of her body, without focusing on appearance, check out olympic climbers. Without her clothes on Shauna Coxey looks like this:

enter image description here

and not like this:

enter image description here

You can see the muscles, but would not suspect she is one of the strongest women on the planet. But check her out on the wall. And look at how strong she is

enter image description here

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Denser muscular fibers

Daron's answer is the scientifically correct one. But if you want a simpler (though idiotic) one, make it so that in your world estrogen packs muscular fibers tighter together.

This would mean that Caulifla (the woman in the screenshot at the question) weights about the same as Goku (the man in the screenshot), so they would be at around the same weight class.

This would also make her unable to swim without super powers since she would sink like an iron rod. She would also sink in beach sand as well.

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    $\begingroup$ What if it was not sand or water, but something like pudding? $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 17:06
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    $\begingroup$ I believe women's muscles are in reality more dense than men's. But I am only now reading this is because of more "slow twitch" and less "fast twitch" muscles. Not simply the same stuff packed into a smaller space. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 17:09
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Monkey woman.

yoimya as monkey woman

Oh Mrs Crane you're a little monkey woman. Yeah you're lean, mean and I bet you're not too far in between are ya? Mmm. Yes we all know the chimps are strong for their puny skinny size. So too the anime girls. They have the muscle structure of chimpanzees.

Chimpanzee super strength and human skeletal muscle evolution

Unlike humans, chimpanzee muscle is composed of ∼67% fast-twitch fibers (MHC IIa+IId). Computer simulations of species-specific whole-muscle models indicate that maximum dynamic force and power output is 1.35 times higher in a chimpanzee muscle than a human muscle of similar size. Thus, the superior mass-specific muscular performance of chimpanzees does not stem from differences in isometric force-generating capabilities or maximum shortening velocities—as has long been suggested—but rather is due in part to differences in MHC isoform content and fiber length. We propose that the hominin lineage experienced a decline in maximum dynamic force and power output during the past 7–8 million years in response to selection for repetitive, low-cost contractile behavior.

Chimp mask from https://www.facebook.com/ameliechabeauxmakeupsfx/photos/pcb.2650839231692628/2650839048359313/?type=3&theater

Anime girl: https://www.vg247.com/genshin-impact-yoimiya-build-guide

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  • $\begingroup$ I understand "you're lean, mean" but what does "too far in between" mean? $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Daron that is a fine question and one I must defer to Carl the assistant greenskeeper. Let me introduce you. youtube.com/watch?v=B9XcXniI3JQ $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps it is a golf pun that didn't quite land. There are already two puns "green" and "you're a trap" in that clip. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Daron No I think it is just Bill Murray's zany improvising. I cannot imagine a script writer in 1980 wrote any of those lines. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 16:49

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